Zechariah 14

Chapter fourteen closes Zechariah’s prophecy with detail about the “day of the LORD,” specifically the part of that period when Messiah comes back. At one point the nations will surround Jerusalem to devastate it (Zechariah 14:1-2). Just before the worst, Messiah will appear and do “battle and fight against those nations” (Zechariah 14:3). The line that he will fight “just as he fought battles in ancient days” must have brought a sense of awe to Zechariah’s original audience, which was much closer to that time when Jehovah was actively and visibly fighting for them. One of those judgments will be a plague that rots the flesh of his enemies and causes confusion both in people and animals (Zechariah 14:12-15; 12:4).

When Messiah returns, he will once again stand on Mount of Olives, physically splitting it in two (Zechariah 14:4-8). The residents of Jerusalem will use this gulf to escape just before Messiah rushes into Jerusalem “with all his holy ones with him” (a reference to the holy angels and probably the Church). Due to the celestial changes during the Tribulation, the light sources will be affected, yet there will still be light in the evening. One of the topographical changes at this point will be a river that will flow out of Jerusalem to both the Mediterranean and Dead Seas (cf. Ezekiel 47).

Jehovah will finally be the sole king of the earth at this point, and his people will live in perfect peace and security (Zechariah 14:9-11). Zechariah mentioned other physical and topographical changes at this point as well. As the king, Messiah will require all people to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, even the Gentiles (Zechariah 14:16-21). Using Egypt as an example, God promised that any nation that did not celebrate the feasts would be punished with drought. In the kingdom all nations will worship Jehovah exclusively, and even the lowliest cooking pot will be sacred.

Zechariah 12

Chapter twelve begins the final message of the ultimate deliverance and restoration God would bring to Israel. At least 17 times these last three chapters contain the phrase “in/on that day,” showing the end times nature of this message. Zechariah 12:1 points back to God as Creator, declaring that, if he could create the heavens, earth, and humans, he could fulfill what he was about to promise. On the coming day of battle, Jerusalem and Judah would become a weight for any who would try to move it (Zechariah 12:2-6). During the battle on Jerusalem at Jesus’ Second Coming, he will strike the enemies’ horses with confusion and blindness, and their riders with madness. This will embolden the future Jewish leaders in their fight against “all the surrounding nations right and left.” Christ will “will set out to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem,” then restore Judah and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:7-9).

In another prophecy setting up in his first coming, all of Israel will look on their Messiah, “the one they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10-14). This recognition will cause a great lamentation in Israel by all the clans of Israel. Three clans are specifically mentioned – Nathan, Levi, and Shimei. The Shimeites were part of the tribe of Levi (Exodus 6:16-17), so they and the Levites represent the priestly class in the kingdom. Nathan was the son of David whose descendant was Mary and, biologically, Jesus (Luke 3:23-31). Thus, Nathan and David refer to the royal class of the kingdom, generically, and to Jesus Messiah, specifically.

Zechariah 9

Chapter nine begins the second major section of this book. Whereas the first section has time pointers (Zechariah 1:1, 7; 7:1), chapters 9-14 are not dated at all. Additionally, whereas the first section was primarily focused on Israel in Zechariah’s time with mentions of Messiah’s kingdom, these final chapters almost exclusively point to the kingdom with mentions of Zechariah’s day.

This chapter begins as if it were an oracle or prophecy against the regions and cities named: Hadrach, Damascus, Hamath, Tyre, Sidon, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod (Zechariah 9:1-7). Instead, it is primarily a prophecy for Israel, which will affect those places, and the rest of the chapter explains the prophecy’s promise, method, and result.

The promise is that God himself would surround his Temple and protect it from any further attacks from the nations (Zechariah 9:8). The method he will use will be the coming of Israel’s promised King (Zechariah 9:9-10). Riding a donkey instead of a war horse symbolized peace, and God promised that Messiah himself will finally bring peace to Israel. Jesus fulfilled the first part of this when he entered into his Temple after riding a donkey into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-13). He will fulfill the second part when he rides his horse out of heaven and defeats all of Israel’s enemies (Revelation 19:11-21), establishing “his dominion…from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.” The result will be that prisoners would be released, and the people would rise up again (Zechariah 9:11-17). They will enjoy God’s blessings of food and drink, joy and revelry, and new generations of God’s people.